Senator Barrasso: Biden Has Enabled Putin’s Military Aggression By Funding His Energy Efforts

Senator Barrasso: Biden Has Enabled Putin’s Military Aggression By Funding His Energy Efforts

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, slammed President Joe Biden during an interview on Sunday morning for his weakness in dealing with Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

Barrasso’s remarks come as U.S. officials believe that Russia may launch an invasion into Ukraine at any time as they have amassed approximately 100,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border.

“We need to sanction Russia before an invasion, not afterwards,” Barrasso told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. “And here’s the reason, let’s put this into perspective, Vladimir Putin is like the big bad wolf. He is huffing and he is puffing, and he has the capacity, basically to blow Ukraine down. He’s accountable to no one. And he views our President Joe Biden as weak and ineffective. We need to put in sanctions now so Putin will see just what pain he will suffer if he does invade, and they have to hit him militarily, as well as economically. From a military standpoint, we need to make sure now that Ukraine has all the weapons that they need to defend themselves. We know what they’ve asked for anti tank, anti aircraft instruments.”

“The biggest sledgehammer we have, of course, is energy and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but this is the area, Maria, that Joe Biden has been the weakest because he has already approved that pipeline months ago,” Barrasso continued, later adding, “Germany’s saying they’re delaying the approval of the pipeline for the next six months, I want to permanently stop that pipeline. You know that Vladimir Putin very effectively uses energy as a weapon. He uses it against other countries, he uses it to fund his military. And Joe Biden has played right into his hands by killing the Keystone XL pipeline in this country, and making it harder for us to use the energy we have in America right now.”

Barrasso concluded by saying that Americans having to pay high prices for energy has been “a jackpot for Vladimir Putin who’s using all of this extra money as his cash cow to fund his aggression.”

“Look, we were energy dominant before Joe Biden became president, now we’re energy dependent,” he said. “And what you’ve seen in the last year is Biden has had to go to OPEC plus Russia, to ask for more energy. So this is the money that’s funding their efforts. We are right now in the United States, using twice as much imported crude oil from Russia than we were a year ago. We are much better internationally if we are selling our energy to our friends than if we have to buy it from our enemies and this White House does not seem to believe it or acknowledge it.”

WATCH:

We need to sanction Russia BEFORE an invasion not afterwards. Putin is like the big bad wolf. He is huffing and he is puffing and he has the capacity to blow Ukraine down. He is accountable to no one and views @POTUS Joe Biden as weak and ineffective. pic.twitter.com/pdAfB3WLLK

— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) January 30, 2022

TRANSCRIPT:

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: My next guest is working on that bipartisan sanctions package. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is here, the third ranking member in the Senate and the ranking member on the Senate Energy Committee. Senator, it’s great to see you this morning. Thanks so much for being here.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Great to be with you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Can you walk us through what this sanctions package looks like that you and your colleagues are working on on a bipartisan level? When would you expect this to come to the Senate floor for a vote?

BARRASSO: Yes, Maria, we need to sanction Russia before an invasion, not afterwards. And here’s the reason, let’s put this into perspective, Vladimir Putin is like the big bad wolf. He is huffing and he is puffing, and he has the capacity, basically to blow Ukraine down. He’s accountable to no one. And he views our President Joe Biden as weak and ineffective. We need to put in sanctions now so Putin will see just what pain he will suffer if he does invade, and they have to hit him militarily, as well as economically. From a military standpoint, we need to make sure now that Ukraine has all the weapons that they need to defend themselves. We know what they’ve asked for anti tank, anti aircraft instruments. We also need to put into place financial issues which will hit Ukraine now, specifically interfering with their ability to transact international business in dollars. Now, the biggest sledgehammer we have, of course, is energy and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but this is the area, Maria, that Joe Biden has been the weakest because he has already approved that pipeline months ago.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, that was my next question. You know, it’s odd to me that the one leverage point you all have against Russia is something that Joe Biden gave to Russia six months ago, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Is there agreement on all of this that you’ve mentioned, and how big is this package?

BARRASSO: Well, there’s agreement on the others, we hope to vote on it this week. The final sticking point is Nord Stream 2. Germany’s saying they’re delaying the approval of the pipeline for the next six months, I want to permanently stop that pipeline. You know that Vladimir Putin very effectively uses energy as a weapon. He uses it against other countries, he uses it to fund his military. And Joe Biden has played right into his hands by killing the Keystone XL pipeline in this country, and making it harder for us to use the energy we have in America right now.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, I mean, is there any acknowledgement on the part of the White House that here you are negotiating amongst the yourselves in a bipartisan way to try to get a package through and yet Germany is resisting? Because of course, Germany is reliant on Russia for that gas and it’s because of the Biden policy to bless the gas flowing from Russia into Germany.

BARRASSO: You’re absolutely right and in America, right now, people are paying the highest prices in seven years for energy. And this has been a jackpot for Vladimir Putin who’s using all of this extra money as his cash cow to fund his aggression. Look, we were energy dominant before Joe Biden became president, now we’re energy dependent. And what you’ve seen in the last year is Biden has had to go to OPEC plus Russia, to ask for more energy. So this is the money that’s funding their efforts. We are right now in the United States, using twice as much imported crude oil from Russia than we were a year ago. We are much better internationally if we are selling our energy to our friends than if we have to buy it from our enemies and this White House does not seem to believe it or acknowledge it.

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